Killing Spree in PvE

I’ve received a fair number of comments, emails, etc. asking why I think Killing Spree is worth putting a talent point in.  First off, here’s the ability text:

Step through the shadows from enemy to enemy within 10 yards, attacking an enemy every .5 secs with both weapons until 5 assaults are made, and increasing all damage done by 20% for the duration. Can hit the same target multiple times. Cannot hit invisible or stealthed targets.

At first glace, this appears to just be a series of 5 assaults to anything in a 10 yard range, making the ability good for moderate AoE use, but not much else.  If you look further you notice that all damage is increased by 20% during its duration, so any white hits will receive the 20% buff.  Basically this ability allows you to pump some serious damage out over the span of 2.5 seconds.

Given that it’s only 2.5 seconds, you might think that it’s not that useful, but with the glyph, you can use this ability every 1.25 minutes.  With that kind of cooldown this ability can give you a worthwhile DPS boost, and for only 1 talent point.  Here’s some numbers for you:

6.5 Minute Combat Parse, no Killing spree


6.5 Minute Combat Parse, with Killing Spree


What can you take from these numbers?  First off, Killing spree is a significant DPS boost.  150+ DPS for 1 talent point is nothing to sneeze at.  Looking into the numbers, Killing Spree contributed to 6.1% of my DPS.  However, that’s not entirely accurate.  Some of the DPS is hiding under “Melee.”  Calculating that DPS would take some serious math, and that’s just not in the cards for this post.

I was able to pop KS 5 times and that’s 12.5 seconds of a 20% DPS boost for white damage.  I estimate that I got in about 8 main hand and 15 off hand hits in that time.  To maximize the effectiveness of this boost, I only use it when I have Slice and Dice up, and if possible Blade Flurry.  

In conclusion, Killing Spree is a very effective tool when used properly.  It can provide a compliment to Fan of Knives in the Rogue AoE arsenal, or it can help boost your single target DPS.  In my opinion,  it is certainly worth a single talent point.

– Sam

21 Responses to Killing Spree in PvE

  1. Thimble says:

    Perhaps my favorite part about Killing Spree is you can pop it when you’re out of energy and waiting for some regen so you aren’t just standing there doing white damage. Which is to say, you aren’t using Killing Spree in place of another ability (Sinister Strike, or whatever). You can use it as a filler during the dry spots in your rotation. And that’s always a plus.

  2. Jentlek says:

    What was your rotation for the KS sequence? …and is the benefit from Blade Flurry (assuming a single mob) just due to the attack speed? I guess I assumed that Ks would give you a fixed 1 attack/.5 sec regardless of what else is on cooldown.


  3. samueltempus says:

    Your auto attack continues during KS, so it benefits from the haste effect. In addition, I’m pretty sure the KS effect will hit multiple targets with Blade Flurry.

    – Sam

  4. Kallise says:

    Killing Spree coupled with Blade Flurry will hit two targets (assuming they’re close enough to meet the requirements of Blade Flurry). This is probably for white hits only. Speed Pots, Bloodlust/Heroism, Improved Icy Talons, and the like that improve attack speed should be popped to take maximum advantage of Killing Spree.

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  6. Shadebourne says:

    I’ve found that Killing Spree is also useful for bringing you back to the boss and on the ground in fights where you are thrown in the air (e.g. Malygos Phase 1 or Ignis’s Flame Jets), allowing you to lose less DPS in these situations. I agree that KS is definitely worth the talent point.

  7. Deathgodryuk says:

    I like to open a fight with Tricks of the Trade on the MT followed by a sinister strike, slice & dice, engineering glove haste, blade flurry, then a killing spree. With SnD, haste & blade flurry the amount of threat given to the MT is truly incredible, allowing all of a raid’s most significant dpsers to get an earlier start. With some focus macros it isn’t too much trouble to switch your next tricks to another rogue after that initial tricks on the MT.

  8. Keeva says:

    While killing spree is active, you are immune to fear and a few other effects. Good timing can keep you from being feared (in auriaya for example) and can also take you out of a situation where your dps is compomised (like in malygos)
    Of couse killing spree is worth taking and glyphing into.

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  12. randomrogue says:

    Killing Spree is great, and even better when coupled with Blade Flurry.

    A few places that KS should not be used
    Kologarn – you will fall to his feet and die
    Thaddius – putting you behind Thaddius while you’re charged the wrong way could wipe the raid
    Kel’Thuzad – want to maintain 10 yards from your neighboring melee. KS will make you too close to them, increasing the chance of being frost tombed.

    Just kinda need to watch the timing of when you hit that KS button, knowing that you will lose control of your character’s movement for 2.5 seconds because the mechanics will force you to be behind whoever you’re attacking. In other words, if you hit KS right before, say, the fire wall during Sartharion… You’ll have a hard time running to the safe spot because you can’t control your character’s movement during that time.

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  14. Sidius says:

    A couple of other points you missed on killing spree:

    1) If you envenom – which also gains a buff from envenom that increases the chance to reapply your deadly poison – and then use killing spree, you will find that your DP procs increase significantly during that 2.5 seconds. This ultimately leads to another opportunity to cast envenom in a very short amount of time which increases your DPS significantly (I would argue even moreso over your rough number of 150 DPS). Caveat being it doesn’t always get you back to five stacks; however, whether you get back to 5 stacks during the Killing Spree, or don’t, you are in either case closer to your next opportunity to envenom and/or at a higher DOT damage on the target.

    2) Blade Flurry in combination with Killing Spree will destroy sets of mobs incredibly quickly as it grants the increased crit chance to both attacks.

    3) Killing Spree is almost always a great chain ability when you need DPS, you’re low on energy, and you need that critical 2-3 seconds to get the energy needed for your next part of your rotation.

  15. Iktomi says:

    As always Sam, great writeup.

    KS when used in concert with BF is devestatingly good for staying with the traditional AoE’rs for trash pulls (thank you Blizz for reducing this in Ulduar). Once you’ve Tricks’d the MT, it becomes a very good threat booster at the start of a fight.

    A couple of caveats:
    – As above, there are some fights where it will *not* be effective, such as Kologarn.
    – Be careful when using it (especially with BF) on trash pulls when the tank does not have good aggro on all mobs — as you are powerless to select the target.
    – Do not use KS when you have >50 Energy, otherwise you will get energy capped (this is a big no-no, energy not used is dps lost).

    Some fights where KS is a good advantage:
    – Razorscale: you can KS just as she casts her knockback, for an extra few seconds of dps on her.
    – Malygos: During the vortexes in ph1, you can KS back to Malygos and within dps range. NB: Use Tricks once you land, and you can really help your MT out.
    – XT002: Depending on your raid’s DPS, you may only get one or two uses of this ability. You want to make sure you have it available (as with all your other cooldowns) during the heart phase; you will eventually get it to the stage where the heart phases (which initiate at 75%, 50% and 25% health) chain together.

    Oh, you definitely want to glyph it.

  16. evestraw says:

    ks with blade flurry is huge damage increase

    but in culling of stratholme i found a problem.

    my last killing spree was targeted at a zombie with his back toward a cart and i got stuck in the cart till my cd was over and a party member lured a zombie to me to pop out

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  18. Mitch says:

    KS is amazing for the Cat Lady in Ulduar – hit it when she is casting her fear.

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  20. Red says:

    Nice blog you have here.



  21. Shawn says:

    Read the tooltip carefully: it says *ALL* damage is increased by 20%. Not just white damage but any DoTs too, so rupture and deadly poison will benefit too. For my rotation I get a 5 point rupture going and THEN do a killing spree. There’s a potential for +20% damage to up to 1 DP and 2 rupture ticks.

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